Goalkeeper Elizabeth Moshier anchors Providence High soccer
Friday, May. 02, 2014

Goalkeeper Elizabeth Moshier anchors Providence High soccer

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/29/16/15/TECah.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Providence High goalkeeper Elizabeth Moshier has recorded 11 shutouts this year for the Panthers, ranked No. 4 in the state.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/29/16/16/Fro0t.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Providence High senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Moshier, yellow jersey, said playing goalkeeper takes a “different kind of person.”
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/29/16/16/PdEyt.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Providence High goalkeeper Elizabeth Moshier, yellow jersey, has recorded 11 shutouts this year for the Panthers, ranked No. 4 in the state.

Elizabeth Moshier admits playing goalkeeper takes a “different kind of person.”

For the last four seasons at Providence High and for the last eight years of her soccer career, Moshier has grown into a player and person capable of handling the pressure that comes with being in goal.

While the senior co-captain has had many big moments in goal, she is keenly aware most goalkeepers feel like they are only as good as their last save.

“Playing goalkeeper takes a whole different kind of personality than any other position in the field,” said Moshier, who plays the same position for her Charlotte Soccer Academy team. “You have be intense and aware of what’s going on at all times, but also be mellow under pressure at the same time.

“While there’s 10 other people trying to stop the other team, in the end, when the shot is taken, it’s on you to make a play, a save. But no matter what happens, you have to learn to not take it personally and move forward to the next play.”

Providence High soccer coach Timothy Long, who has watched Moshier grow from a junior varsity starter as a freshman, says having a good goalkeeper with the right mindset is invaluable.

“I know what I’m going to get out of Elizabeth every game, and I don’t have to worry about her,” said Long, who has coached both the Providence boys’ and girls’ teams for the past five years. “She is harder on herself than I ever would be. Most of the time she knows if she does something wrong and immediately corrects it. Having a good goalkeeper, like we do, makes a big difference.”

Moshier has earned 11 shutouts while allowing only five goals in her first 15 games for Providence; the Panthers gave up a total of seven goals in that span.

After tying Hough 2-2 in their first game of the season, the Panthers ripped off 14 wins in a row and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the state.

But the Panthers (14-1-1 through April 28) gave up nearly as many goals as they had all year in their 16th game, a 5-1 nonconference loss to Myers Park on April 23.

The loss is still fresh on the players’ minds. “There are definitely some games that are hard to forget, and that Myers Park game certainly is one of them,” said Moshier. “But as tough as it was, I think it was kind of a wakeup for our team that we have to bring our best every game.”

Long sees it the same way.

“As bad as that loss was – and you never want to lose – I feel like in the long run it could be a blessing in disguise for this team,” Long said. “This team had never been No. 2 in the state and leading the (SoMeck8) conference. They have to understand that everyone is coming for us and trying to knock us off our pedestal and show we’re not that good.”

While the Providence High girls’ soccer team is off to its best start in a long time, its success is not unprecedented. Two years ago, most of the current team was a part of the 18-5-1 squad that advanced to the 4A West Regional final before losing to eventual 4A state champion Hough.

The Panthers, No. 4 in the state according to the coaches’ poll, are hoping for a different ending this time.

The Panthers hope to win their first conference title in seven years and were 10-0 in the conference heading into the May 2 game against Charlotte Catholic.

Long also guided the Providence High boys’ team to a 24-0 start last fall, before falling to Asheville’s T.C. Roberson in the 4A West Regional final.

The Panthers girls’ offense is averaging nearly 5.5 goals per game with junior forwards Michaela Daniels and Maddy McGarry and sophomore forward Lauren Ellis.

Senior co-captain Megan Gray, junior Ellie Deaver – who has committed to UNC Charlotte – and freshman Molly McGarry, Maddy’s sister, help in the midfield.

Moshier would be the first to tell you that her four teammates in the Providence defense – senior Lauren Koval, junior Lizzy Melching, sophomore Elisa Hicks and freshman Kate Hickson – are an enormous part of her success.

“We are a pretty tight group,” said Moshier. “We are able to do a lot of mind-reading type stuff with each other, where you just look at each other and know what to do. In the end, we all depend on each other.”

Moshier said she believes this team can win it all during her final run at Providence High.

“I feel like this is the best team we’ve had in a long time at Providence,” said Moshier, who will attend Clemson University next year to major in biology and possibly play club soccer. “It would be surreal to end our season and our careers with a state championship. But right now, we just have to take one step at a time.”

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at jedwardsjr23@gmail.com.

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